My commitment as a college athlete has done wonders for me not only as an athlete, but as a student as well. Because I spend hours at practice every day, I don't have the same amount of time to work on my schoolwork as other "normal" college students have. This has taught me a lot about prioritizing as it is necessary for me to really focus and get my work done when I have the time to do so, rather than procrastinating.
My favorite part of Cross Country/Track is the opportunity to meet other dedicated athletes and grow so close to teammates. The people that participate in college athletics, especially those at a D3 level who aren't just there because they're being paid, are extremely focused and passionate about their sports. I have met many great people through Eastern athletics and can call my teammates my best friends.
I started running four years ago, after I tore my ACL from playing soccer. The opportunity to continue a sport at the college level that I picked up on a whim in high school is an absolute blessing to me and something that I never would have expected when I first joined a cross country team. While I haven't been a runner for a long time, my passion has manifested itself in the way I compete, study, and glorify God here at Eastern. After my injury from playing soccer, I have an abundance of trust in God's plan as He has blessed me in disguise through an injury that, at the time, felt like it would be the end of the world.
Kierra has provided a great example in her pursuit of excellence at Eastern University both on and off the field. Kierra continues to impress us with her perfection in the classroom (one of only a few students to achieve a 4.0 in her first year at Eastern) and her efforts over the first two years of her cross-country and track participation at Eastern have led to dozens of accolades, team-records, and league honors for both her academic and athletic performances. Despite her success she has displayed great humility. Even during a recent road block this semester (an injury that cut her season short) I have been encouraged by her positive mindset, joyful attitude, and reliance on Christ.